Last updated on Jan 24, 2024
SQL Server clustering is a term that describes a collection of two or more physical servers (nodes) connected by a local area network (LAN), each of which hosts a SQL server instance and has access to shared storage. When a server hosting the SQL Server instance fails, clustering SQL servers provide high availability and disaster prevention.
A hardware breakdown on a standalone server can bring your activities to a standstill. If a node fails, clustering allows you to instantly fail over to another node with minimal downtime, allowing your users to continue working while IT works to resolve the issue. You can quickly roll back operations once the primary server is fixed.
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SQL Server clustering can help reduce downtime when applying upgrades and security patches as compared to using a stand-alone server.
While SQL Server clustering increases availability and reduces downtime, it does not improve server or application performance. You must boost the computational power of the servers to improve performance.
SIOS SQL Server Clustering Solutions are introduced in this article, along with a high-level comparison of SIOS and Microsoft's SQL clustering solutions.
SIOS Technology Corp. provides high-availability clustering solutions to help you recover from infrastructure and application failures automatically. SIOS offers two options for ensuring SQL Server high availability:
Let's take a closer look at each solution's features and benefits.
Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) is a high-availability component of the Windows Server platform. WSFC is often used to offer high availability for SQL Server applications. WSFC coordinates redundant computing resources and controls the recovery of SQL Server processes and data on a standby node in the event of a server or application failure. Unfortunately, there is no SAN accessible if you want to operate your SQL Server application in the cloud.
SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition enables you to simply construct a SANless WSFC for your SQL Server applications running in the cloud, in virtualized environments like VMware or Hyper-V, or on physical servers with only local storage to provide high availability and disaster recovery. SIOS cluster software synchronizes local storage via real-time (synchronous or asynchronous) block-level replication, while WSFC controls the software cluster. WSFC sees the synchronized storage as regular SAN-based storage. Hybrid cloud arrangements between an on-premises data center and the cloud can also be created for disaster recovery protection.
Microsoft has fully validated SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition software, which provides Enterprise-Class availability in any configuration across cloud regions and zones.
SIOS SANless clusters not only reduce the cost, complexity, and risk of a single point of failure associated with a SAN, but they also enable you to employ the latest in fast PCIe Flash and SSD storage for performance and protection in a single cost-effective solution.
The Linux SIOS Protection Suite consists of the following features:
SIOS Protection Suite could support a standard HA hardware-based cluster in a SAN environment, but it can also be used to build a shared-nothing approach to server clustering, allowing it to function SANless. For a wide range of applications, it provides a resilient, versatile, and simply configurable solution with automatic and manual failover/failback recovery rules.
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On the market, there are alternative SQL Server clustering options. Microsoft provides some of the most popular SQL Server clustering solutions, including:
SQL Server Basic Availability Groups is a Windows-based clustering engine that can support up to two nodes. It functions similarly to a database mirroring solution. While both clustering and mirroring promote high availability, mirroring only allows for database failover. Clustering is the preferable approach if you have additional services, files, or other resources outside of SQL that you need after a failover, or if you have multiple databases that must stay together.
SQL Server Always On Availability Groups runs on both Windows and Linux, and it "provides an enterprise-level alternative to database mirroring," according to Microsoft. It needs an expensive SQL Server Enterprise Edition.
When you use SQL Server Standard Edition with SIOS' SQL clustering solutions, you can save up to 70% on software licensing expenses while getting enterprise-class clustering functionality.
Windows and Linux are supported by SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances with Shared Storage. It's a one-site solution that necessitates the use of a SAN.
SANs, however, are costly to buy and operate, necessitate SAN administration knowledge, and are a single point of failure. The performance of a database can also be impacted by a SAN.
Here's a more extensive comparison of SQL Server Always On, SQL Server Failover Cluster, and SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition's benefits and weaknesses.
SIOS DataKeeper and SIOS Protection Suite for Linux offer high availability and disaster recovery protection for Windows and Linux applications running on any physical, virtual, cloud, or hybrid cloud architecture. For instance, SIOS DataKeeper could:
Both SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition and SIOS Protection Suite for Linux can provide fully certified high availability cluster protection across cloud regions and availability zones, simulating clustered shared storage.
SIOS offers solutions that cover a wide range of applications, operating systems, and infrastructure environments, allowing you to use a single solution to meet all of your high availability requirements. Here are a few instances that show how powerful SIOS may be.
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